While literature suggests that nurses report incidents or potentially unsafe care delivery, there is little evidence on student nurses' practice in this area.
To explore the factors that influence student in reporting concerns about practice.
A qualitative study was carried out using a phenomenological approach, based on semi-structured interviews with six student nurses.
Student nurses said they do not always report potentially unsafe practice they have witnessed. Four main themes were identified: the student-mentor relationship in clinical placement; actual or potential support provided by both the practice area and university; students' own personal confidence and professional knowledge base; and fear of failing clinical placements.
The nursing profession needs to take stock of current organisational culture and practice, and address issues around reporting in practice. Recommendations are made to improve mentorship, nurse training and for further research.